MA
2021 start

Education: Early Childhood

School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences

Our MA will encourage you to reflect on your experiences of early childhood education. You’ll explore a broad range of issues and debates on learning, pedagogy and curriculum in early childhood education.
Postgraduate education students reading at desk

Course description

This one-year, full-time course covers a broad range of issues, encourages students to reflect on their experiences of current early childhood education policy and addresses theory and research relevant to their interests.

How to apply

You'll need to include a personal statement with your application.

Your personal statement: what to include

Apply now

Modules

Core modules:

Critical Issues in Education and Educational Research

This module introduces students to key issues in education and educational research that will underpin their studies, regardless of which pathway they take through the full-time masters programme.

It outlines historical and theoretical approaches to education and introduces the key paradigms of educational research. The module moves on to consider critical issues in education and educational research, drawing on the research strengths of the module team focusing on a range of areas including educational psychology, globalisation, disability and inequalities, enabling the module to provide a foundation for other modules on the programme.

The module thus offers students an opportunity to develop a critical stance towards some of the most pressing issues in educational research in contemporary societies.

30 credits
Early Childhood 1: Development, Learning and Curriculum

This module introduces learners to recent ideas related to development, learning and curriculum in Early Childhood Education. Sessions to be taught include the following: key figures in the history of ECE; birth to five child development and learning; tracing UK policies on curriculum and learning; alternative perspectives on curriculum and learning: Reggio, Forest Schools, international schools; play and learning; learning to communicate: literacy and multimodal practices; early intervention studies: REAL, inclusion, equality and diversity. This will be followed by student-led presentations on topics related to the above. It is intended that this will prepare them for their assessment.

30 credits
Early Childhood 2: Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education

This module introduces learners to recent ideas related to contemporary issues in Early Childhood Education. Sessions to be taught include the following: children's rights; quality in Early Childhood Education and care; creativity in arts and contemporary communication practices; popular culture; digital literacies; gender; traditional and digital play; including children in research. This will be followed by student-led presentations on topics related to the above. It is intended that this will prepare students for their assignment.

30 credits
The Practice of Research

This module introduces students to the processes involved in designing a research project, conducting the study and completing the research report.

The module focuses on research design, on identifying issues, formulating research questions and choosing appropriate methods to use in particular instances and settings. It explores various approaches to data analysis and outlines issues to be considered in the writing-up process.

It aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge required to complete a dissertation in an education-related field.

30 credits
Dissertation

The dissertation is a major part of the MA in Education. The dissertation topic can develop a theme raised during the taught part of the course, or an issue which relates to the specialised research areas covered by the students' own interests. The Course Team provides guidance on the choice of a suitable topic for investigation and advice and support throughout the study period (April to August). A wide variety of study is possible, including empirical studies, theoretical reviews, historical or philosophical investigations. The dissertation is 15,000-20,000 words in length. Each student is allocated a supervisor - a specialist in the research area. Students and supervisors work together over the six months of the dissertation period before submission of the thesis.

60 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Teaching

Teaching and learning takes place via lectures, weekly seminars, individual tutorials, discussion, active inquiry and investigations. Regular meetings with a personal tutor support and encourage your learning and understanding.

A weekly tutorial accompanies the taught modules.

Assessment

There are no formal written examinations. Assessment is by coursework and a dissertation.

Duration

1 year full-time

Entry requirements

A good honours degree in a related field is required.

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

How to apply

You'll need to include a personal statement with your application.

Your personal statement: what to include

Apply now

Contact

education-admissions@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 8177

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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